Why Carbohydrates Are Important For Every Footballer?
Carbohydrates are important for every footballer. Carbohydrates is one of the most important nutrients in an athlete’s diet. Every football player are dependent on glycogen for energy.
Carbohydrates are the go-to source of energy for footballers. It provides the body with glucose, that latter converted into energy and used during physical activity, workout and training and maintain body function.
Carbohydrates gain a bad reputation in the era of the fat-free boom. In this article, we are going to explore why carbohydrates are important for every footballer?
What are Carbohydrates?
I know people reading out this article have an idea about what is carbohydrates. But here I will give you a quick overview without diving deep into their chemical structure.
Carbohydrates are a macro nutrient group that consists of sugars, starch, and fibers. The main characteristics of carbohydrates in the body are to fuel the muscles and central nervous system. Fiber is good for healthy digestion. Carbohydrates consist three elements: carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
There are two types of carbohydrates. Simpler Carbohydrates and Complex Carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates, are broken down by the body quickly. They found in processed and refined sugars such as candy, table sugar, syrups, and soft drinks. In simple carbohydrates, there is a lower amount of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients (that help your body to use fuel, stay fit and recover faster).
Complex Carbohydrates are king. They retain more time in the body as compared to simple carbohydrates. They take longer to break down and have more nutrients, such as fiber and vitamins. Fiber slows down the passage of food through the digestive tract and the release of sugar into the bloodstream. That eventually helps in blood sugar control and more even energy levels. It gives the feeling of fullness to the players who want to lose weight.
Why carbohydrates are important for every footballer?
Here are some of the reasons, why carbohydrates are important for every footballer and they must include carbohydrates in their sports diet.
- Carbohydrates fuel muscles.
- Carbohydrates are not fattening.
- Avoiding carbs can make you feel hungry and that leads to food binges.
- Quality carbs promote a healthy microbiome
- Carbohydrate makes your sports diet delicious.
Best carbs for a football player
Here is the list of minimally or unprocessed foods that are easily available and rich in good carbohydrates.
1. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato is a root vegetable. They are a good source of high-powered antioxidants, vitamin A and potassium that help to soothe sore muscles and maintain the right amount of fluid in the body. One cup provides 27g of carbs, 4g of which are fiber.
Oats are good for the heart. It has high soluble fiber and low saturated fat content, and these both help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. One ½ cup of dry oats provides 27g of carbs.
Brown rice is over-hyped. Choose wild rice over it. Wild rice provides 6g of protein and doubles the amount of fiber (3g) for 35 fewer calories than brown rice per 1 cup serving.
Banana is a source of vitamin C and good for the immune system. They also have prebiotics that helps improve the absorption of other nutrients.
Chickpea is a good source of carbohydrates. Chickpeas provide a generous 22g of carbs in one ½ cup, a whopping 6g of fiber, and 7g of protein. Fiber keep you feeling full, maintains sugar level, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
How many carbs should an athlete take before a football match?
The day before a game an athlete should intake a high carbohydrate meal to maximize glycogen stores. At the same keep in mind that you should take easily digestible starchy food like pasta, bread, rice, and fruit and a lot of water are mandatory it will keep you hydrated.
Don’t overtake the carbohydrates because it will direct blood to your digestive tract instead of muscles. One should consume between 20 to 40 grams of carbohydrates one to two hours before the match.
Consumption of carbohydrates is a nutritional strategy suggested to the football player. The aim of recommending the consumption of carbohydrates is to preserve endogenous energy stores (including blood glucose concentrations and muscle glycogen). Carbohydrate is an important fuel for exercise but the body can store enough to last for only one day of hard training.
Topic covered in this article:
- What are Carbohydrates?
- Why carbohydrates are important for every footballer?
- Best carbs for a football player
- How many carbs should an athlete take before a football match?
Thank you for reading this article. Hope this helps!